Whilst out walking today, with a brave smile on my face despite the rain, I passed by a woman with a boy of pre-school age. As I carried on walking down the road, I heard the boy ask, “Who’s that?” to which his mother replied, “Dunno.”
Over the last year or so, I’ve become a weeny bit paranoid about being a dunno (short for don’t know). Maybe it’s my age and the grey hairs sneaking in: still more gold than silver hairs, but the ratio between the two colours is becoming less acceptable with every passing day.
The paranoia started last year. Two days after our early music choir, LuxAeterna, gave a concert, I met a member of the audience in the street. I’m good with faces, so recognised her immediately and, being friendly, said hello. She raved about the concert to me, but then asked, “And which one were you?” I replied, “The one wearing a bright orange velvet top — the soprano standing in the front row in the middle.” “Oh,” she says, “I don’t remember you.” Hell, there are only fifteen of us in the choir. I rationalised that she needed a new pair of glasses, but was too polite to tell her so.
Lately, even my house has become invisible: a conclusion I’ve reached after the refuse and recycling collectors have repeatedly emptied every waste bin in the street other than mine. I have three wheelie bins — one green, for cardboard, paper, tins, and plastic; one black for ordinary household waste; and one brown for garden rubbish; plus one little waste bin for bottles and jars. Each of my bins is clearly labelled with my house number and left out in front of my garage next to the pavement. Darn it, I even clean the damned things, so it’s not the smell that’s putting them off.
All the above leads me to ask, am I destined for obscurity? Or one day, if I ever become a well-known writer, will I be grateful for my ability to walk down the street incognito and live in an invisible house?
Below, is a photo I took of myself disguised as a male writer called S. C. Templeton, when I was considering publishing one of my old novels on Kindle as an experiment.